Acer kindly sent me an Espire ES1 laptop for review. The Espire ES1 is part of a range of laptops from Acer that offer low cost pricing with different ram, screen sizes and storage configurations. The Acer ES1-512 is a 4gb ram, 500gb hard drive with a 15.6 inch screen that retails around the £200 mark.
The key specs are –
– Operating System – Windows 8.1 with upgrade to Windows 10
– Processor – Intel Celeron N2840 Dual-core 2.16 GHz, 64 bit
– Screen – 39.6 cm (15.6″) HD (1366 x 768) 16:9 CineCrystal
– Graphics- Intel HD Graphics with Shared Memory
– Memory – 4 GB, DDR3L SDRAM
– Storage – 500gb HDD
– SD Card Memory Slot
– Wireless LAN Standard IEEE 802.11b/g/n
– Ethernet Technology Gigabit Ethernet
– Built in Devices – Webcam, Microphone
– HDMI, 2 x USB 2 ports, 1 x USB 3 port,
– Weight – 2.4kg
– Up to 7 hours battery life, Battery 3,220mAH
– Height 26.1mm x Width 381.6mm x Depth 258mm
The first thing I noticed about the laptop is the texture. Acer describe this as “a distinctive easy-grip or Flow Curve design for secure handling in all situations with a Fibonacci dot pattern cover for good looks that is smooth to the touch. The chiclet keyboard offers you well-spaced keys for a comfortable and quiet typing experience.” And in my usage with the laptop I do agree with Acer’s view that it is easy to hold and comes with a good sized keyboard.
The touchpad has touch gestures such as pinch, flick and swirl. If you haven’t used one of these multi use touchpads, there is a small adjustment period needed to learn the ropes.
Acer has an audio system called TrueHarmony that delivers a more lifelike and richer audio, while also providing Skype-certified components for crystal clear, instant communication and uninterrupted audio and video, without fear of echoes, gaps or lags. In practise using Skype worked well and the music/audio was reasonable loud and clear too. For Skype video, the Acer laptop includes a webcam and microphone.
The laptop currently runs Windows 8.1, but during first start up there is a registration screen to get a notified for the upgrade to Windows 10, which is being offered for free. As I mentioned above, the trackpad took me a little while to adjust too as it operates differently to my MacBook. But once I got the hang of it after an hour or so, it was a breeze to use. The Acer configuration I have is configured with 4gb of ram. 8gb is available on the other models provided by Acer along with a 17 inch screen too. In use 4gb of ram is reasonable. Small delays between screens or carrying out processes can occur. Whilst this particular configuration only costs £200, I would recommend stretching to the 8gb options if possible especially if using media type applications.
If I had one complaint, it is that Acer add so much bloatware. Lots of free trials that are often trials of much older versions of the software. However, McAfee is offered one year for free.
Other than that, the Acer ES1-512 laptop is a reasonable budget machine.